Of all the tasks faced by modern man, moving would probably be at the bottom of most people’s lists of fun things to do. Packing, hauling, lifting, carrying and unpacking aren’t necessarily considered ideal ways to spend an afternoon, but at some point in our lives, it’s inevitable. We’ll find a better apartment or rent house. We’ll part ways with our college roommate. We’ll close on our first mortgage. And we will be faced with the daunting task of getting ourselves from point A to point B.
“In most cases, relocating is exciting because you’re looking forward to settling into a new home. It’s the actual moving that’s the hard part,” said Tara Demarie, REALTOR® relocation director for Century 21 Bessette Realty. “I’ve found that the people who have the most difficult moving days are those who haven’t adequately prepared beforehand. Residents typically know at least a month before they’re going to relocate. The number-one way to have a smooth move is to start planning as soon as you know you’ll be relocating. The last thing you want to do is scramble 24 hours before moving day.”
Ideally, you can start smoothing the road toward moving day six weeks before it arrives. According to Demarie, that’s the time to start your own version of spring cleaning. Packing can be a frustrating task, so why pack things that you don’t really want or need? Instead, plan a garage sale or charitable donation. Return borrowed items.
Six weeks out is also the time to get estimates from professional movers or moving companies. You can also start collecting boxes and packing materials, unless you’re fortunate enough to have hired a packing service.
Now that you’ve cleaned out the non-essentials (and kept all your receipts for tax purposes), it’s time for the practicals – notify magazine subscriptions of your change of address; contact utility companies to set up shut-off and turn-on times; check the freezer and refrigerator and plan out meals for the next two or three weeks so you don’t have to worry about housing fresh sacks of groceries; and secure a safe place for valuables so they don’t get misplaced in the move. All this should be done about four weeks before moving day.
“It’s also a good idea to service power mowers, boats and other gas-powered equipment and drain all the gas or oil so there aren’t any accidents during the move,” Demarie said.
One week before moving day, it’s time to face the more tedious tasks of moving: Transfer or close checking and savings accounts, if necessary; service your automobile if you’re traveling a significant distance; file change-of-address with the U.S. Post Office; and cancel all newspapers, garden services, or lawn maintenance. Obviously this is also the time to start packing – but make sure you don’t pack away items that you’ll need access to in the process.
“Residents should remember to organize at least one room for packers and movers to move around freely,” Demarie said. “Also, if you’ve hired professional movers, it’s a good idea to take inventory of the condition of all of your furniture before the moving begins. That way you can assess what damage existed before moving day and which were caused by the movers. Make sure they’re aware that you have a detailed record. Share it with them if possible. Not only does this give you cause in case something is damaged, it also keeps movers on their toes and will make them more careful when handling your belongings. Ideally, professional movers will do this already. That’s one reason why it’s a good idea to get references and ask around for feedback before you hire a moving company.”
Adequate planning will make for a successful grand finale – Moving Day. Demarie provided the following tips for residents to follow on the day of the big event:
-Plan to spend the entire day at the house. Last-minute decisions must be made by you. Don’t leave until after the movers have gone.
-Hire a sitter or send the kids to a friend’s house for the day.
-Stay with the moving van driver to oversee inventory.
-Tell packers and/or driver about fragile or precious items.
-Make a final check of the entire house – attic, closets, shelves, garage, every room.
-Double check with driver to make certain moving company records show the proper delivery address for your new house. Verify the scheduled delivery date, too.
-Give driver phone numbers to contact you both here and in new community in case of a problem.
-Get complete routing information form the driver and phone numbers so you can call the driver or company while en route.
-Disconnect all utilities and advise the real estate agent who sold or is selling your house.
-Lock all doors and windows. Advise your real estate agent and neighbors that the house is empty.
For more information on how to make a smooth transition, contact Century 21 Bessette Realty at 474-2185.